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HELP! Knee // Too Many Opinions (including Subchondroplasty)

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Beesknees1

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Hi all I’m new to this fabulous forum and am so happy to have found you all. Praying you can help as I navigate this confusing world of surgery options.

I just turned 40, was a competitive dance from ages 3 to 16 and retired because I had ‘water in my knees.’

I also have 6 herniated discs in my lumbar spine and 6 in my cervical from a car accident.
On August 10th, 2020, I casually bent down in my apt and got up as I twisted and managed to tear my meniscus (large complex medial tear) and have severe bone marrow lesions. Except for the dancing, I never had pain in my knees since I was 16 years old, so thinking this may be a result of my low back injury as I had thrown it out 2 weeks before.

Its been over a month, and I have seen some of the best drs in NYC and they all have a different opinion.

HSS gave me a shot of lidocaine in my knee to see what was causing the pain and it’s indeed the bone bruising. This has left me with the following options:

1. Take it easy, come back in 2 months to see how the bones are healing and essentially keep going back until I don’t feel pain and then so the meniscus surgery. This isn’t ideal for many reasons as I am extremely active and I can barely walk now and am in a lot of pain, 2 more months of this isn’t feasible plus surgery and recovery AND there’s no guarantee the bones will heal, they can take up to 2 years I’ve heard!

2. operate on the meniscus and stay off my leg completely for 6 weeks, since I can’t use crutches due to my neck and back injury, the Freedom Leg Brace is a good option but that still leaves me with even more injured bone bruising from the trauma of the surgery and we don’t know how long it will take time recover (same issue only meniscus is healing together with bone bruising), which makes sense, I think?

3. then there’s the debate about Subchondroplasty, I can’t seem to find info on this forum about it but I have been told both go for it and not to, if anyone can share their experience it would be greatly appreciated as this sounds like the most promising solution to get me back on my feet again

4. now the debate about the meniscus, one top surgeon thinks he may be able to repair the meniscus but the recovery on that is 3 to 6 months and even though better in the long run, it is the worst news for me and my plans to move out of the country and way too long to be off my leg, plus another surgeon said if he repairs it, I can tear it agin (ughhh)

5. the other surgeons tend to agree on one thing, a meniscotomy and some say they can save between 40 and 50% but the surgeon I saw today said the tear was so bad that the meniscus may need to be removed. I’m going to forget about his wrench in the plans when all the other 8 surgeons agreed on saving half and since that is a faster recovery time (4 to 6 weeks) I am leaning towards that.

Has anyone had experience with BMIs, if so did they heal and how long? What did you do to heal them?

Any experience with Subchondroplasty in the knee?

Any experience with a meniscus repair? What was the recovery like?


Phew, so if I’m going to have surgery, I’d love to do it soon so I can start the recovery process ASAP. If I’m going to continue to stay on bed rest that isn’t good because I won’t have insurance by December for surgery but will try to make it work if it is the best option.

Anyhow, thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart, for surgery advice on any experiences with any of these procedures especially subchondroplasty.

Many thanks!!!

MRI report above
 
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Viv

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i had a torn meniscus. my doc suggested PT. i went once a week to drag out the sessions and did the exercises at home. was starting to feel hopeless whan all of a sudden 4 month later, the pain went completely away. 4 years later i am still painfee in that knee. is PT an option for you?
 
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Beesknees1

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Hi @Viv,
That’s amazing! Mine is a large complex tear where there is little blood supply so all doctors have said 100% surgery.
 

Jamie

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Your surgeons are correct, @Beesknees1 .... with a significant tear like you have, physical therapy would not be a good option.

I think you are wise to have gotten a lot of opinions, but as you've found out, it can create a dilemma as each surgeon has his own opinion of what would be the best treatment. This is not unusual.

I see Dr. Della Valle's name on the MRI report you posted. Is he the surgeon you have chosen to work with? If not, who are you considering?

One thing to consider.....since you have sustained such a bad tear with a seemingly minor movement, it could indicate that your meniscus is likely to cause problems even with a repair.

Although I'm familiar with the subchondroplasty procedure, I cannot recall any of our BoneSmarties who have experienced it. It is possible that one or more of our forum guests (people who just read and never join the forum or post) may see your thread and decide to comment. To help draw people to your request to hear from a subchondroplasty patient, I've added that to your thread title.
 

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